Author Archives: Chantel

NASA to Seek Applicants for Next Astronaut Candidate Class

In early November, NASA will seek applicants for its next class of astronaut candidates who will support long-duration missions to the International Space Station and future deep space exploration activities.

A bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or mathematics and three years of relevant professional experience are required in order to be considered. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience in flying high-performance jet aircraft.

After applicant interviews and evaluations, NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013 and training begins that August.

For more information click here. Additional information about the Astronaut Candidate Program is available by calling the Astronaut Selection Office at (281) 483-5907.

California Space Grant Students Highlighted for their Near Space Balloon Work

Funded by the California Space Grant and led by UC San Diego professor John Kosmatka, the Near-Space Balloon Team at UC San Diego is planning to fly a helium-filled, zero-pressure balloon across the United States, propelled only by the capricious winds of the jet stream. If successful, this would be the first time a U.S. university would have completed this mission.

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California Space Grant Professor Leads Boy Scouts in NASA Summer of Innovation

California Space Grant Campus Director Dr. Jose J. Granda, a professor at Sacramento State, led Boy Scout groups at Camp Winton in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related project. The project involved designing and programming robots and was supported by a mini-grant from the NASA Summer of Innovation, an initiative with the goal of enhancing the engagement of American students in STEM. Continue reading

California Space Grant Sponsors Senior Design Rocket Project

With California Space Grant support, UCSD Aerospace Engineering Senior design students are able to integrate their coursework with practical hands-on applications, gain real world experience and systems engineering skills by launching individualized rocket experiments.

In groups of 4 or 5, the students are responsible for building, testing and flying a 50lb thrust solid rocket or hybrid rocket. Each group chooses two variables to measure such as stagnation pressure, stagnation temperature or propellant tank pressure. Then, each group predicts the expected values during their flight. They are graded on the accuracy of their predictions and the complexity of their experiment.

On June 6, 2011, the class launched their rockets in the desert of Plaster City, CA. After the launch, students analyzed the data obtained and prepared reports on the success of their experiments.

Photos courtesy of Colin Sheredy.

Student Microgravity Project on The Cephalic Fluid Shift and Intracranial Pressure

Sponsored in part by the California Space Grant Consortium under the UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program), UCSD and Grossmont Community College students are studying what happens when blood floods to the head in microgravity. They’ve designed experiments to measure intracranial pressures in microgravity with a machine that mimics fluid flow to the brain. In July 2011, the students will fly their experiments aboard a near-zero gravity parabolic flight in Houston, TX under the NASA “Grant Us Space” microgravity program. The students hope that their findings will teach us more about intracranial pressure in astronauts. Continue reading

Student Project on Plasma Actuated UAV

The California Space Grant is proud to announce updates on a student research project, sponsored in part under the California Space Grant’s UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) in 2009 and 2010. Ved Chirayath’s current research focuses on improving the efficiency of control surfaces on aircraft while reducing their total weight. Prior to his research, the application of single dielectric barrier discharge (SDBD) plasma actuators have never been applied to an aircraft or UAV. Continue reading